Sunday, January 22, 2012
Otis Taylor "Pentatonic Wars & Love Songs" (2009)
If you ever wonder about the critical marginalization of the blues, think about the critical reception of records like this, or the lack of critical reception. Ignoring the dominance of the Blues Hammer acts that overran the blues scene some years ago, Taylor is creating challenging records that are clearly within the tradition. Sure, this album contains elements of soul & jazz, but it's still a blues record.
Why is this type of album ignored? The blues audience seems to have settled into two camps: backwards looking traditionalists, & refugees from 70s rock who are looking for the next Stevie Ray Vaughn. Critics can safely ignore albums that speak to either camp, since both are really not much more than tribute acts.